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Leicester v Spurs, (PL2 - 03.01.18)
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

   
       Premier League 2, Division 1, 2017-18
         Holmes Park, Whetstone, Leicester
          Wednesday 3rd January 2018, 7pm

            LEICESTER   v   SPURS
            (All Blue)    (White/Blue)
              4-4-2        4-2-3-1

               6(1)          1(1)

        Daniel Iversen  1  Brandon Austin
       Darnell Johnson  2  George Marsh
           Connor Wood  3  Jaden Brown
         Sam Hughes(C)  4  Luke Amos(C)
           Josh Knight  5  Christian Maghoma
           Robert Huth  6  Timothy Eyoma
    Lamine Kaba Sherif  7  Keenan Bennetts
 Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall  8  Oliver Skipp
           Josh Gordon  9  Kazaiah Sterling
         George Thomas 10  Shayon Harrison
         Layton Ndukwu 11  Anthony Georgiou

           Josh Debayo 12  Jack Roles
                           (7)73Mins
           Max Bramley 13  Alfie Whiteman
           Luke Thomas 14  Joseph Pritchard
             (3)83Mins     (10)78Mins
        Liandro Martis 15  Shilow Tracey
            (11)68Mins     (11)70Mins
           Josh Eppiah 16

Scorers -   
       Hughes 28            Bennetts 10
       G. Thomas 66, 90+4
       Johnson 76
       Gordon 81, 88 

Booked:-
       Ndukwu 63(Foul)      Amos 43(Foul)
                            Marsh 55(Foul), 57(Foul)

Sent Off:-
                            Marsh 57(2 Yellows)
                            Skipp 72(Late)

Coaches:-
       Steve Beaglehole     Wayne Burnett

Attendance  497

Referee: Christopher O'Donnell
Assistants: Gareth Viccars & Darren Knox
Fourth Official  Oliver Mackay 

Spurs travelled to Leicester earlier than originally scheduled due to the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday. The squad was short of players which could suggest that some like Edwards and Shashoua were being included in the Cup squad. This was not great timing to play a team on a 17 game unbeaten run. While the home side were in second place chasing Liverpool, Spurs sit bottom of the table without a win in five games and held to a draw at Stevenage in their last game by lowly Sunderland. Leicester drew 1-1 at Hotspur Way earlier in the season.

Spurs lined up with Austin in goal behind Maghoma and Eyoma with Marsh at right back and Brown on the left. Amos and Skipp anchored the midfield with Harrison ahead of them flanked by Bennetts on the right and Georgiou on the left in support of Sterling up front.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the East end on a cold evening taking the game to their hosts. Sterling gave Huth the slip and Georgiou and Bennetts made good runs down the flanks. Leicester only had a long range effort by Dewsbury-Hall over the bar before Spurs took the lead. Bennetts dribbled his way through the right channel before curling the ball inside the far post.

The "Foxes" defended deep and used long balls to their attackers as an outlet which provided a free kick that was taken by Thomas for the run of Ndukwu down the left to fire into the side netting. Iversen saved from Harrison before Leicester began to put pressure on the Spurs defence with long balls and a high press. Gordon fired over before forcing a save from Austin from a Ndukwu cross. The pressure told when a corner was half-cleared and when it came back into a crowded box Hughes got the important touch to equalise.

Now that they were level the "Foxes" had the bit between their teeth and pressed even stronger forcing errors from the visiting defence. Thomas got the better of Eyoma to draw a save and then robbed Skipp on the edge of the area but Austin again came to Spurs rescue saving at his feet. Gordon headed wide at the far post before Georgiou was released by Brown down the left crossing for the left back to force a save at the near post. Amos was booked as he prevented a Leicester counter-attack for a Spurs corner before the break.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw Spurs continue to try and keep a high line and Leicester attacking from deep with long balls. Thomas fired over and Dewsbury-Hall hit the crossbar before Marsh was booked twice in two minutes to leave Spurs with ten men. Amos dropped to right back to cover.

With the extra man Leicester were able to press harder and Hughes hit a post as they laid siege to the Spurs goal. Bennetts attempted to break out but was stopped by Ndukwu who was booked. The pressure told as Thomas got through to beat Austin and put the home side ahead.

Georgiou was replaced by Tracey in an attempt to put some pressure on the Leicester defence but Spurs went down to nine when a late challenge by Skipp was deemed to be bad enough for a straight red card by the referee. Spurs took off Bennetts for Roles to anchor the midfield as they still looked for a goal. That changed when from a corner Johnson drove in a third goal and Spurs had to settle for damage limitation making their last change sending on Pritchard for Sterling.

Gordon ran onto a Hughes through ball to score number four and after firing wide got his second - heading in from a corner. Another ball over the top saw Austin race out of his goal only for Gordon to lay it off for G. Thomas to see his effort cleared off the line. Brown got down the left to play in Tracey for a chance that Iversen saved. Leicester finished with a sixth goal in added time when Eppiah got to the line on the right and his cross was turned in at the near post by Thomas. It looked like Eyoma got the final touch but it was given to Thomas.

This was a very bad result for Spurs who were holding their own until the red cards. They did not look like winning as Leicester were on top but they could have held out with a bit of luck. Relegation now is a strong possibility with the run-in that Spurs have. A win over fourth placed Everton at Hotspur Way, which is Spurs' next game in two weeks time, would be a big boost. The U-18's take on Leicester this Saturday at Hotspur Way so hopefully we will get a better result.

Ray

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